On Deadlines, Real Life, and Being Overwhelmed

Suddenly, I’m insanely busy.  Ridiculous, frantic, to-do-list-carrying, don’t-have-a-free-weekend-until-next-month kind of busy. Between my three part-time jobs, real life obligations and a kind of necessary dedication to sleep every once in a while, I don’t have the time I want to spend writing. And with the deadlines I have for that as well (albeit some self-imposed), I’m basically feeling like this:



And that’s not good.

Most of my day is spent so rushed, with so many obligations, that my creative energy is totally sapped. I have ideas running around in my head, so many ideas, but as the hours slip away, my characters end up sitting in a “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” corner of my mind, endlessly flipping coins and waiting for their turn.

Also, not good.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need a good, solid chunk of downtime in order to write. To those of you who can churn out twelve hundred words while dinner is cooking and your kids are in the bath–I bow down to you. I don’t know how you do it. So give me some advice here: how do you balance real life and writing? Seriously. I need to know. Because I don’t want to be flattened at the bottom of a cliff like Wile E. Coyote, and I don’t think my characters want to, either.



  1. I know how you feel. I work a 50+ hour a week job, take care of family and extended family, and write. I was feeling squashed under it all too until I found the magic hour of 4 a.m. No one in my home dares to be up that early and even though I’d rather crawl back into the warmth of my covers, I don’t. I write, and I get sh*t done. Do you have a magic hour time when everyone else has gone to bed, left the house, or are busy with their own things? It’s not always the most enjoyable time, and it does take sacrifice, but I’m a happier person when I’ve gotten in my two sold hours of writing a day.
    I hope you find something that works for you.

  2. You are juggling a lot. Just keep seeting your priorities and maintain your lists. There are things that you can work out of the way. I know you have a really busy next few weeks but then you can block out some time to write. Keep focused on that. Get through this and then block mout your time. You can be in control. Let yourself. Also… you’re a hell of a writer.

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